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The collection of organisms in the plankton that spend only part of their life cycle, usually the larval or egg stage, drifting freely in the water.

mer′o·plank·ton′ic (-tŏn′ĭk) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Biology) plankton consisting of organisms at a certain stage of their life cycles, esp larvae, the other stages not being spent as part of the plankton community. Compare holoplankton
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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In total, 61 holoplankton taxa belonging to 7 categories: Protozoa, Cnidaria, Rotifera, Crustacea (Copepoda, Cladocera, Ostracoda, Amphipoda and Mysidacea), Chaetognatha, Mollusca, Larvacea, and 8 different types of meroplankton were also recorded (Table IV).
Professor Mary Sewell explains the significance of meroplankton --temporary, intermediate, early lifeforms--like a black box themselves, their movements offering a key to understanding complex ecological processes in the big ocean.
They may be either whole life cycle in the water column (holoplankton) or be temporarily in this site (meroplankton), when the larvae is planktonic but the adult individual is nektonic or benthic [2, 3].
Morales-Ramirez & Murillo (1996) suggested that this degradation also affects the meroplankton, presumably reducing the spawning events, feeding or swimming behavior of larvae.
Near the Baker River mouth, net flux estimates showed that small meroplankton, such as barnacle nauplii are advected landward (Meerhoff et al., 2015), indicating that suitable prey for small hake larvae is more abundant inside fjords and channels than over the shelf.
A ten-year study of meroplankton in North Carolina estuaries: Annual occurrence of some brachyuran developmental stages.
Multicellular eukaryotes begin colonizing the surface within several weeks and include settlement of meroplankton larvae and algal spores.
Rotifers, cladocerans, and meroplankton (pelagic juveniles of demersal species) were identified to the lowest possible taxonomic level.
Although the main role of cercariae of these parasites, which are components of zooplankton (meroplankton), being to find and infect the target host; secondarily, they play an important role in the trophic web of aquatic environments.
Seasonal and food web relationships of marine organisms in the nearshore zone of Kodiak Island - including ichthyoplankton, meroplankton (shellfish), zooplankton, and fish.